ROCK ISLAND COUNTY, III (KWQC) -- Illinois State Police are handing out tickets to drivers who don't move over when they see flashing lights. Troopers say they're doing it because for them it's not just a law, its life or death.
TV6 rode along with the department Wednesday morning to get a firsthand look.
“Got a guy coming up behind us going 87, so I’m going to have to make a stop real quick,”
Illinois State Police Trooper Jason Wilson never knows what calls he will answer.
“Why are we going so fast?” said Trooper Wilson. “I honestly wasn't paying attention, said Driver. Okay, I got you going 87, said Trooper Wilson. “87”, responded Driver. “We do have a rear antenna in the back of our car where we can actually measure how fast people are coming up behind us,” responded Trooper Wilson.
For Wednesday morning, it was a traffic stop. While we stopped, TV6 camera crews decided to also see how many cars would move over as Tropper Wilson's lights flashed on the interstate.
“When we looked at our numbers of Illinois State Police that have been hit so far this year. 86 percent of our people that were hit were actually on something other than a traffic stop,” said Trooper Wilson.
The enforcement is part of the departments push to focus on Scott’s Law. The 2002 law requires drivers to slow down and move over when they see flashing lights.
“Not only is it for our safety, but it's for the general motor public that we are out trying to protect as well,” said Trooper Wilson.
This year so far, 17 squad cars have been struck and three troopers have died. So the department is determined.
“This semi-truck that we are getting ready to pull over. There was no traffic around, there is no reason that they shouldn't have pulled over,” said Trooper Wilson.
For Trooper Wilson, it's more than just giving out tickets, but a chance to make a difference.
“I just came back from a funeral for one of our troopers, the one that was killed by a semi-truck driver. The one that you actually just passed was her best friend,” said Trooper Wilson to a driver he pulled over.
Trooper Wilson says he doesn't want to write the tickets.
“This is a biggie for us, this is huge, and so I need to get your signature right there for me today. This is a citation for failure to move over,” said Trooper Wilson to a driver he pulled over.
However, it's recent accident scenes that he doesn't want to see anymore.
“We want to do the exact same thing, we just want to go home to our families too,” said Trooper Wilson.
Earlier in the day before the ride along, Trooper Wilson gave out another ticket to a driver who went from the left lane into the right lane even though they saw the flashing lights. Drivers who get a ticket for not moving over are required to go to court and it's up to the judge on how much of a fine they will pay.